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I've been in extreme chronic pain

This is a real question from a real person. Our hopes is to share in case our answer can help others in similar situation.

Full Question/Concern:

I've been in extreme chronic pain for over 4 months now. Severe muscle spasms, like I've never experienced before, my right shoulder is stuck about 3 inches forward & 2 inches up. At times I cannot hold my own head up. I have a large rhomboid trigger point that feels like it has been ripped. The spasms spread up my neck, upper back, into the abdomen, & now into the lower back, leaving more trigger points. I have 2 mild cervical bulged disc, & all of my lumbar are severely herniated with significant stenosis all of them, when the spasms spread to the lumbar area, I got sharp pain down my right leg, leaving my foot now numb with pins & needles. Not one Dr will even give me flexeril, why is this? What is going on with our Healthcare system? I am not drug seaking, opiods would not work for this kind of pain, I cant even get a Dr to give me steroids for the extreme inflammation. I'm on my 2nd physical therapist in 4 months the 1st one gave up, said this is not working I don't know what else to do, he was only making it worse. I can't believe they are leaving me in this amount of pain, my thought was if they could experience my pain for even 5 min, surely they would change their minds, & prescribe me the correct medication & refer me to the correct specialist. Any suggestions anyone?

Our Reply:

I'm really sorry to hear about the severe pain and discomfort you've been experiencing. It sounds like you're dealing with a complex combination of symptoms including severe muscle spasms, cervical bulge discs, severe lumbar herniation with significant stenosis, and neuropathy. The situation you're describing, with your right shoulder position altered and the inability to hold your head up at times, along with widespread muscle spasms and nerve pain, certainly requires comprehensive evaluation and management.

Regarding your question about Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) and why it might not have been prescribed, it's possible that your healthcare providers are considering potential side effects or interactions with other medications you might be taking, or they may have concerns based on your specific health profile. Cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant that can help with muscle spasms, but like all medications, it is not suitable for everyone and can cause side effects such as drowsiness and dizziness.

As for steroids, they are often used to reduce inflammation, but long-term use can lead to significant side effects, and healthcare providers may be cautious about prescribing them, especially if they believe the risks outweigh the potential benefits in your case.

It's also possible that your doctors are trying to adhere to current guidelines that prioritize non-opioid treatments and conservative management strategies before considering more aggressive treatments like opioids, which you've mentioned aren't suitable for your type of pain, or invasive procedures.

Given your situation and the complexity of your symptoms, it might be beneficial to consult with a specialist in pain management or a spine specialist who can offer a more targeted approach to your pain. These specialists often have a broader range of tools at their disposal, including advanced imaging to better understand what's causing your pain, interventional pain management techniques such as nerve blocks or epidural steroid injections, and comprehensive rehabilitation programs tailored to your specific needs.

I understand your frustration with the healthcare system and the feeling of not being heard or adequately treated. It's important to communicate openly with your healthcare providers about your pain and the impact it has on your life. If you feel your concerns are not being addressed, seeking a second opinion can sometimes provide new insights or different approaches to your treatment.

For further information on managing chronic pain and to explore different treatment options, you might find our resources helpful. We cover a range of topics related to pain management and rehabilitation. Please visit our website for more information and to find additional support.

If you find yourself in a similar situation to this one, we highly suggest connecting with one of our doctors. Your Chronic Pain might be over sooner rather than never.


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